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Biden Administration Sets Minimum Nursing Home Staffing Requirement

Understaffing  at nursing homes is a primary cause of abuse and neglect at these facilities.  The  White House has moved to tackle such neglect by imposing a minimum staffing requirement on nursing homes.

In  the final version of the new rule, the Biden administration has clarified that at least one  nursing  staff member should be present in a nursing home 24 hours of the day. The rule also requires these facilities to have enough staff members to provide at least 3.18 hours of care for every resident in a facility in a day.  The rule also includes a requirement  for nursing home facilities to properly assess the health needs of every single resident in   their facility,  to help speed up the diagnosis and treatment of sicker residents.

In September, the administration invited comments from the public about the proposed new rule, and received more than 48,000 comments from the public. These comments involved residents who had been forced to lay on the floor for a long time after falling down because staff was not available to attend to them, and older residents  who had to sit in their own filth for hours without being cleaned up.  Other comments said that residents were often not fed on time,  leading to malnutrition. All of these cases of neglect are the direct result of understaffing at nursing homes, a serious problem that has worried the federal administration for decades.

Other investigations have found that most  nursing homes will likely not be able to meet the minimum staffing requirements. In fact, at least one study says that  about 80% of nursing homes will have to hire more staff in order to meet the staffing requirements.  Nursing  home operators and owner associations have already objected strongly to the new rule,  stating  difficulties in finding nursing staff. For the time being, the federal administration is brushing aside these concerns by nursing home operators, with the Health and Human Services Secretary suggesting that operators who cannot meet the new staffing requirements should probably not be in the business at all.

The rule makes an exception for nursing homes in rural areas, giving them 3   years to meet the starting requirement, while urban facilities have been given a deadline of 2 years to meet the requirement.

The Atlanta nursing home abuse lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries as a result of elder abuse and neglect at nursing homes in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia.  If  your loved one has suffered injuries as a result of nursing home abuse and neglect, talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss his or her options for a claim for damages. Compensation can include medical costs, pain and suffering and other types of damages.  Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case. Initial consultations are free.

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